NBA Game Summary - Cleveland at Denver
(Friday, December 19th)
Final Score: Cleveland 105, Denver 88
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - LeBron James missed a triple-double by two assists -- with 33 points, 10 rebounds and eight helpers -- to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to their best start in franchise history with a 105-88 triumph over the Denver Nuggets.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas tied a season-high with 23 points for the Cavs, who have won 21 of their last 23 games. Delonte West had 22 points in the win as the Cavs moved to 22-4 this season.
Chauncey Billups ended with 16 points for Denver, which has dropped two in a row. Carmelo Anthony logged just 13 points on 5-of-14 shooting. Linas Kleiza and J.R. Smith tallied 11 points apiece, while Anthony Carter scored 12.
James improved to 4-8 head-to-head against Anthony since the two were selected first and third, respectively, in the 2003 NBA Draft.
The Cavs jumped out to a 37-21 lead after the first quarter and led 64-53 at the break.
"Offensively we were very unselfish, we took care of the ball," Cavs head coach Mike Brown said.
Ilgauskas' layup gave the Cavs a 71-57 lead and West followed with a three from the right wing for a 17-point cushion at the midway point.
"Delonte was big throughout the game," said Brown.
Cleveland's lead hovered in the mid-teens before the Cavs headed into the final 12 minutes up 84-65.
Two free throws from West gave the visitors an 88-68 lead with about 10 1/2 minutes left in the game.
The visitors cruised the rest of the way.
The Cavs made 6-of-20 three-point attempts, while the Nuggets were 10-of-20 from behind the arc...Cleveland won the battle of the boards, 43-33...The Cavaliers are 2-1 on a four-game road swing. Cleveland is 9-4 on the road this year...The Nuggets are still a gaudy 16-6 since acquiring Billups in a four- player trade that sent Allen Iverson to Detroit...The Nuggets lost consecutive games for the first time since November 1 and 5...The Nuggets are 9-4 at the Pepsi Center.
12/20 01:47:28 ET